Posted by: directortom | January 7, 2009

Our Journey Began With a Trip to Las Vegas

It was 1977. Sheila and I had just sold our house in Memphis. Without fully understanding what we were about to do, we gave ourselves ten days to load the largest U-Haul truck and trailer, drive to Las Vegas, find a house, buy the house, close, move in, and return the trucks. All in just ten days! We actually did it in nine days. Well, God did it. Here’s what happened.

 

Let me say that we embarked on this adventure after much prayer and feeling deep peace in making the move. Without that, we might have died in the process.

 

Days one through four. After a difficult four day trip, we arrived in Las Vegas without ever having been there. The only people we knew were two couples we had known while attending The University of Memphis. Gary was working as a trombonist at the Riviera Hotel. His wife, Susan, was not working. Andy was playing his trumpet around town in jazz joints hoping to secure a job with one of the hotel bands as had Gary earlier. His wife, Cathy, was attending dealer’s school. We saw both couples that first evening but not much afterwards except for an occasional dinner out. The only other “contact” was God. And He was enough, for sure.

On day four of our 10 day adventure, when we met with a real estate agent, we were almost laughed out of the city when we admitted having only $3,000.00 with which to buy a house. In fact, had we used all $10,000 of our available funds, we might have been able to secure a “fixer upper” house. We spent the day looking at two or three, most of which had no doors, windows, or working plumbing. After leaving that agency somewhat embarrassed, we finally made a call to an agency we had previously contacted by mail before leaving Memphis. On day five, we met a wonderful lady but she had not anything different to show us. While sitting in her office, the three of us pondered what to do next. Two choices were clear; return to Memphis or wait for a miracle to happen. Shortly after silently praying for wisdom and mental recovery, the agent’s nephew, a new graduate from real estate school with only one account to his portfolio, walked into our agent’s office with an announcement. His one client, who wanted and desperately needed to sell his small house, had just changed his requirements for the sale of his house. He now required only $3,000 for a down payment and would carry a huge 2nd mortgage for the buyer with a monthly payment of $300.00. It took all of 5 seconds for our agent to ask if we’d like to see the house. Having absolutely nothing else, it took us about 4 seconds to say, “Can we go right now?”

It was evening on that fifth day when we arrived at the very small house at 1708 Leslie Ave. Our heart sank as we viewed a green house with grass as tall as the front door. I had to almost carry Sheila from the car to the front door. You see, we had sold a house with 3,600 square feet and were now considering a house with about 900 square feet. I remember Sheila saying, “I will never live in that house!” On the way back to the hotel we began to doubt ourselves about our most recent decisions. We did not doubt God. He never makes a mistake; people often do. After calling Sheila’s mother back in Memphis, she assured us that we all knew God had directed our move to Las Vegas when all others felt it was wrong. We prayed with her and fell asleep, so worn out physically, mentally, but were given a special non-fragile gift of peace. Thoughts of what to do next were quickly erased by God’s divine application of deep and peaceful sleep.

The next morning, day six, the sun was so bright and cheerful as we made our way back to see the house one more time, knowing it was the only house in Las Vegas available to us. Upon arriving at the house, we began to see possibilities. The grass could be cut; the house could be painted; and the back yard was surrounded by a tall brick wall. There was no garage; but the house, though very small, could be decorated. Inspired by these implanted encouragements, we made the deal. Our agent took our offer to the owner and requested a quick close. Throughout day six, the owner had some concerns due to the fact that neither Sheila nor I had a job. But the agent spoke highly for us and he relented. We went to the title company on the morning of day seven, signed the papers, got the keys, and checked out of our motel that afternoon. Although it was only the two of us working, we began unloading our truck and trailer and finished up the morning of day nine. By noon we had returned the truck and trailer to the location designated and suddenly realized that we had done this all in nine days with one day left over. Thank God! With God there is always more than enough.

I said all of that to say this: When God is directing, things just work out. What God did for us is simple but also hard to understand. He blinded us to the reality of how impossible a task we had. We never even considered how difficult it would have been to do all of what we did in just 10 days. Miracle? You bet! Were we thankful? What do YOU think? These events in our beginning days of ministry have continued to inspire us for the last 31 years. I hope it can be of some inspiration to you. With God, all things are possible. And when the “thing” is something He has ordained, He will surely bring it to pass.

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Responses

  1. I was very glad to read this the other night. We had just left a church service discussing the will of God and how to know if you are in it…it made me feel better to know that even if things look dark, if you’re in the will of God, things will work out!


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